Scenario: Brainstorming

As an Action Learning Coach how would you handle the following situation:

The team feels they are at a point that it would be useful to brainstorm.

Tags: Action Learning Coach, WIAL Action Learning, WIAL Talk

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Comments (10)

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    Sridar

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    I would ask the team if a brainstorming session will assist in coming up with a solution to the problem. If the team agrees, i will then ask what are the two ground rules of AL. Then i will ask if a brainstorming session can comply to the 2 ground rules. If they insist that the situation requires a brainstorming session, I would then ask ” Team, could we end the AL session for now to proceed with the brainstorming and commence AL once the brainstorming session is over”?

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    elbertor

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    I would ask the team if this is something everyone agrees is necessary so that they can move forward. If all say yes, I would then ask them how much time they will need, and how else they would like to proceed.

    If at least one says no, I would ask them how they would like to proceed. Perhaps they would like to make a case for why or why not, then put it to another vote.

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    elbertor

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    I would ask the team if this is something that can be done within the AL context and ground rules. I would also ask if everyone agrees is necessary so that they can move forward. If all say yes, I would then ask them how much time they will need, and how else they would like to proceed.

    If at least one says no, I would ask them how they would like to proceed. Perhaps they would like to make a case for why or why not, then put it to another vote. But I feel like there needs o be a unanimous decision on this in order for them to break away from AL and brainstorm. Otherwise, I would ask them what is the impact if at least one person does not feel it is necessary to do something as a team?

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    Lei

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    I will check with the team if there has been a consensus / agreement of the problem. Assuming that at this point where they brought up the brainstorming idea they already have an agreement to the problem, I will ask team how can AL and ground rules be used in their brainstorming session. As a Coach, I will also ask the team how the brainstorming process will help the team move forward with finding solutions to the problem. This is to raise to their awareness how it will help and its impact to the team. I will also check with the team if there is an agreement from the team members to do brainstorming. If everyone agrees, I would ask the team how they would like to proceed – how much time they need, if they would like to proceed with AL after the braistorming or set another AL.
    In the next AL session, I will bring back the learning from the brainstorming and its impact to the team and finding a solutions to the problem.

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  • Avatar

    DrBea

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    Since Brainstorm fits within the rules of Action Learning – a question is asked and many answers are given. But I’d want to be sure the team was ready for this and would raise it to awareness and make sure everyone was good with it.

    My questions –
    I’ve observed we have a suggestion to move to brain storming. How do other feel about this?
    what will the impact on our problem solving be?
    How will we brain storm and continue to follow our ground rules?

    Happy Coaching
    Bea

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    Michael Anderson

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    This is a fascinating situation. It seems to me, that in many ways AL is brainstorming only in question form. As such, lobbying for one’s opinion, monopolizing the time, and rabbit trails are practically eliminated. The more I facilitate AL, the less inclined I am to do traditional brainstorming. In a case where a team wants to brainstorm, I want to ask them what they actually hope to accomplish with brainstorming. Then ask if it is possible to accomplish the same thing by following the AL rules. I also want to ask them what they believe the advantages and disadvantages of brainstorming to be over AL. If they are adamant about brainstorming as a coach I believe the appropriate thing would be to comply. I like the ideas already expressed about putting a time limit, setting a clear goal, and comparing the experience and results to the AL process after the conclusion of the brainstorming session

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    Owen Yeung

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    I would firstly ask whether the team agrees with it (if someone flows the idea of brainstorming) and also ask the team to assess the impact of doing brainstorming instead of action learning for the problem in hand. If all agree, I would ask whether what are some of the key considerations they need to make in order to make sure brainstorming works for problem solving, e.g. how long did we allow for brainstorming, who will be responsible of tracking what the team brainstormed, etc.

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    Ewa Obałka

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    I think brainstorming can lead to good results if all team members agree to that method of working.

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    SHA SHA

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    I will ask team why they want brainstorming and how the brainstorming will help problem-solving.
    Sometimes, when team get stuck in finding the real problem, they hope brainstorming could be a quick way.
    Usually, they will find some new directions but will feel some frustrated since they still don’t find the real problem.
    So if the team haven’t found the real problem, I will add one question:
    I find we haven’t reached consensus on what the real problem is. So how brainstorming will impact on find the real problem?

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  • Avatar

    Justin Li

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    i would like to ask, “whether you all will follow AL grand rule during brainstrom?” if they say yes, i think that will be ok; but if they say no, i would like to ask, “why do you think brainstrom is so important to the team?” and “does everyone agree with this suggestion”, if all the team member agree, and the coach evaluate that brainstrom will improve the team’s work, i would like to give them certain time for brainstorm, and then back to the AL meeting again.

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